The McManus Art Gallery and Museum is a Gothic Revival-style building, located in the centre of Dundee, Scotland.

The building was designed by the architect George Gilbert Scott, who was an expert for the restoration of mediaeval churches and advocate of the Gothic architectural style. He intended to design a large tower like in his previous work at St. Nikolai, Hamburg. The foundations were situated in a small wetland called Quaw Bog at the confluence of the Scourin Burn and Friar Burn, which has since been drained. This meant that the area under the building site was underpinned by large wood beams. However, when construction began in 1865, the ground proved too unstable to support the larger tower that he envisaged. The building was opened as the Albert Institute in 1867.

Two further sections, which extended the building by four art galleries and four museum galleries, were added by 1889. The central section was designed to Scott's intention by David MacKenzie, with the Eastern Galleries by William Alexander. The contents of the Watt Institute, founded in 1848, were incorporated into the collection before the opening of the civic museum and art gallery in 1873. Between 1873 and 1949, the buildings were administrated as part of public library service. From 1959, the city corporation took over the running of the administration. Ironically, following a later refurbishment the building now commemorates the Lord Provost Maurice McManus. Initially retitled McManus Galleries, after refurbishment in 2010, it is now formally known as The McManus: Dundee's Art Gallery and Museum.

The collection includes three paintings by Thomas Musgrave Joy which celebrate Grace Darling's rescue of passengers on the paddlesteamer Forfarshire.



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Founded: 1867
Category: Museums in United Kingdom


4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Lynn Duncan (13 months ago)
Thoroughly enjoyed my visit, great exhibitions which are on until January 21. Lovely cafe, food homemade just delicious. Would recommend.
Ali McGonigle (14 months ago)
Really interesting day out. A variety of local displays and other generic historical exhibits. The cafe is really nice and staff are lovely. Enough interaction for kids and very central so ideal to visit when in the centre and make a day of it. Stunning building as well.
Adam McGurrell (15 months ago)
Only been here twice whilst being in dundee for 2 years. Nice to go in and actually read history about the city and what life was like in the Tay. One of the museums staff in particular (name sounds like a character out of Lord of the Rings), helped me towards one of the galleries and was just a pleasure to chat to. I wasnt sure if I was allowed to sit and draw but I didn't let that bother me from just walking and observing. In regards to COVID, the corkscrew pathway throughout the museum was very simple to follow and sanitary stations placed on occasion are very helpful. Looking forward to returning!
Michael Palmowski (15 months ago)
It's radical.
Anna Smith (15 months ago)
Wish we'd had longer to look round. Joseph McKenzie photos excellent but no book available on his work. Great cafe. Good covid protection set up. Just need to sign post toilets. Staff v friendly and helpful.
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